Newsweek article on childhood bipolar

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by smallworld, May 18, 2008.

  1. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    This week's cover story in Newsweek details the life of a boy with bipolar disorder. Some of it rings all too true.
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    Good article. Thanks for linking it.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you- I wonder how much debate there is among the professionals when the symptoms aren't there from birth. I have read it can start in pre-adolescence, typically exhibiting as depression first. This is what happened with my son- he fits the criteria in many ways, yet I still worry if he is mis-diagnosed. And like all of us, am so frustrated that they are just now doing any real research regarding diagnosis and tx for kkids.

    It is great, though, that there are so many articles and publicity these days. Along with educating the public a little, it helps my son to see the commercials and stuff so he doesn't feel so much like an alien.
  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Thank you... K is so much like this poor child. I sent this to my mother in law... LOL
    The thing that bums me out is the "His chances do not look good" statement on the last page... I know all of our children are different, but man that hits hard.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Totoro, statements like that are discouraging, but none of us here are really giving into that, as can be seen from all our efforts with our g'sfg. I try to look at those statements as possible motivators to those who can fund and pursue research that give our kids more hope. If the public was being told that there is a simple fix, then no one would spend time or money on it.

    I'm just trying to think positive today!! As everyone knows, there are some days when I am a ball of pessimism!
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Did anyone watch the video of Max and his parents? I know we're not doctors and can't diagnosis, but I couldn't help wondering if he had a co-morbid diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). If so, that may be why he's been so challenging to medicate.

    He's also on a strange combo of medications for BiPolar (BP): Depakote, Clonidine, Tenex and Lyrica.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I didn't watch the video- I might go back to do that. I don't know much about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), but after reading the article, it did cross my mind that he might be mis-diagnosis'd. Mainly because it seemed something else was going on and there wasn't much talk from the parents about cycling- clearly there was something "mania-like" and depression, but I kind of thought that if the "mania-like" symptoms were something else and not being treated appropriately, I guess the kid would feel like giving up.

    What stuck out at me- if I read correctly- that there are some dr's who don't believe BiPolar (BP) exists. I think we have had some therapist's who don't believe in it, and thought it was just an excuse for difficult child. But, I didn't realize that there are some psychiatrists who don't believe it exists. Did I read that wrong?
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    There are definitely psychiatrists who believe that early-onset BiPolar (BP) doesn't exist. There are also psychiatrists who think it is overdiagnosed. And there are still others who want to rule out everything else before saying it is BiPolar (BP). It can take a very long time for a child to get a diagnosis of BiPolar (BP) (and I honestly wouldn't trust a psychiatrist who gives a quick diagnosis of BiPolar (BP) either).
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Interesting. I read it straight through.
    I think he has other things--especially the description of how he didn't like the feeling of grass on his feet, the noise of the fan, that sort of thing. Clearly, it was made worse with-the medications. What an awful situation.
    I think there's a hereditary link, since the father has a family history--and he's not helping with-his military inflexibility.
    One of the saddest and most identifiable parts was what so many of us have been through--when someone in a store or pkng lot says you have no right to be a parent. They are SO clueless.
  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I don't think it's clear that the medications made things worse. We don't know how he would be without medications.
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks for sharing this article. It was very interesting-I haven't watched the video yet but will later.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, I will say that I can't be 100% sure that difficult child has BiPolar (BP). But, he does have something like mania- it appears to be full blown mania- and depressive and stable periods. I think- although I am not a professional- that treating these symptoms as if it is BiPolar (BP), then treating any underlying issues, is probably the right way to go. If the cycling goes away that is wonderful. I guess if it doesn't go away and nothing surfaces to indicate a different diagnosis, then it will be agreed upon that it is true BiPolar (BP). This has what has been presented to me by psychiatrists, but if this isn't consistent with what others have heard, I would love to know. The psychiatrist isn't at the top of my confidence list right now.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Okay, now I've watched the video too and I think he's also got Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), especially his fascination with-nonfiction, science, animals, etc. and how he "soaks it all up." Also, he's a bit uncoordinated (I had to watch to make sure it wasn't just being embarrassed in front of the camera) and I really think there are other things going on. He may have several things.
    I'd be curoius to know more about his father. He just sat there. Maybe he's an aspie? I'd be curious to know his occupation and how analytical it is. I think the article said his family history had issues and one brother killed himself.
    Very complicated.
  14. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am not trying to start an argument here, but why can't his actions be, just part of Bipolar Disorder? sensory processing disorder (SPD) is usually in the umbrella of this Disorder. When reading about Bipolar Disorder lots of kids are Highly intelligent and fixate on things... they have sensitivity to things and are just plane weird acting... I would hate for a parent to run and demand to have their child placed on the Spectrum just because they had Sensory issues or were fixated on things... lots of kids with special needs are this way.
    I also think just because a child who is on the Spectrum of Autism has rages or is showing what some one thinks is manic like symptoms, should not automatically be called Bipolar.
    I think some Doctors are too quick to diagnosis these kids, I think part of it is funding, where the dollars are at the time. I know for a fact this is true, K could get lots of help if we "just" called her Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. Which she did not qualify for but they were willing to do just so she could get some therapy.
    I agree we need to treat the symptoms, and the diagnosis does not make our child, but for treatments sometimes the diagnosis does matter.
    I personally think most Autism treatments can help most of our kids...
    But as we have painfully seen, Some of the wrong medications for the wrong diagnosis's can hurt these kids...
    I think waiting as long as possible is the best approach with as much therapy as possible. I wish we could all wait to medicate our children so much so much longer... unfortunately most of us do not have access to these therapies... or the Doctors who will take the time to give a proper and thorough diagnosis.
    SO sad. His diagnosis could be completely wrong I don't know??? I just feel bad for the poor kid.
  15. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing this article. My heart goes out to Max and his parents. I wish they knew about this seems like they need all the support (from people who understand) as possible.

    I do not know as much as a lot of you about autism, but they did seem to describe some classic traits.

    I think what I am FAST learning is what makes any kind of diagnosis (physical or mental) so hard is that there is no nice little neat and perfect box that everyone fits in with the exact medication to "fix it".

    My difficult child has so many different "little quirks" that on some days are more significant than other days...

    I wish that we could make greater strides in figuring all this out. Our society would be a MUCH better place if we could. Untreated EVERYONE suffers....
  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I didn't even cry when old yellar died, but this hit too close to home.

    Thanks for posting. I'm seriously considering a second opinion in the DevPed department, maybe I'll go to Boston.
  17. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I wish when we sought help, you had to/got to go see an expert in all fields, Know what I mean?? An Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), ADHD, BiPolar (BP), Seizures Learning Disability (LD)... all of them! Someone who knew about all of the Nuero-psychiatric testing ... What tests should be administered and actually administered them.
    And the best part would be that the Govt. paid... OK I am dreaming...
  18. Dara

    Dara New Member

    The cover of newsweek this week is an article about a 10 year old and his family living with Bipolar. I was just wondering if anyone has read it yet and what their thoughts were.
  19. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    I have it sitting here next to me but haven't read it yet. Hopefully in the next day or so. Not sure what to expect.
  20. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yes, I saw the story, Smallworld posted about it a few days ago (see page 2 of the threads here).

    But it was rather poignant, I thought. It goes into what life is like for this family and their son. Doesn't paint a very rosy picture for his future :(